The Onoja sisters Neku and Iye have qualified for the semifinals in the
Girls 12 category in the ongoing CBN Junior Tennis Championship but managed to avoid a potentially explosive semifinal confrontation.
Neku, 12, emerged second in her round robin group losing the final classification match to Chidinma Ezeh from Anambra 9-3. Iye. 10, also lost her final classification
match to Timipre Maxwell from Port Harcourt 9-1.
By placing second in their groups the Onoja sisters avoided a “sisters act” in the semifinals. Neku will meet Maxwell winner of Group A while Iye will take on Chidinma Ezeh in the second semifinals.
Iye Onoja is also through to the Girls 10 finals where she will meet Serena Teluwo from Lagos.
Timipre Maxwell is equally through to the Girls 14 semifinals placing second from her group behind the in-form Marylove Edwards. Maxwell will meet Favour Moses who led her group while Edwards will take on Kasara Adegboyega from Ibadan.
There were several upsets in the boys’ events. Chris Itodo from Kaduna edged out Amos Michael from a semifinal place in the Boys 18s. The hard fought contest saw the Port Harcourt based Michael squander two match points in the tiebreak to go down 9-8. The other semifinalists are Martins Agbamu, Michael Michael and Chris Bulus who upset highly rated Austin Stephen to earn his place.
The top two seeds in the 10s, 12s, 14s and 16s are allowed to play one additional category higher and Itodo, Bulus, Iye Onoja and Maxwell have all qualified for the semifinals in two categories.
The idea, according to the International Tennis Academy organisers of the junior tennis circuit is to fast track their progress and give them the confidence to challenge the seniors. There is also a special prize of 100, 000 naira for any player in the 12s 14s and 16s who wins two categories.
The semifinal matches are scheduled for Friday beginning at 10 am while the grand finale is planned for Saturday beginning at 12 noon prompt.